NOIDA: For the first time, the Noida Authority is testing the quality of the town's groundwater. The move comes after repeated complaints from residents about the quality of water supplied in the city.

"The study of water quality is being done in a planned manner across the city for the first time," said Avinash Tripathi, OSD, Noida Authority. "We have started testing groundwater quality over the past two weeks. The tests and study are being done by two empanelled agencies," he added.

The two agencies - Shree Ram Testing Laboratories and Centre for Environment and Food Technology Pvt Ltd, accredited by FSSAI and the Union environment ministry - will collect water samples from six ranney wells and 30 underground reservoirs. "The samples will be tested for chemical oxygen demand - which will give us the level of chemicals in the water, biological oxygen demand - that will indicate the presence of microbes, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids (TDS), and toxic or heavy metals," said Tripathi.

In the first phase, a physiochemical and biological analyses of the groundwater will be done. A report is expected within two months, by the end of November. What has to be done next for improvement in water supply or quality will be decided on the basis of quality test reports. In the following phase, from December, random checks will be conducted on household water quality.

If the water quality is found to be acceptable at the source but not the consumers' end, the focus will be on strengthening the supply system - like replacing old rusting pipelines or fixing leakages. If the problem lies at the source, water treatment will be taken up on a bigger scale. "Then, we will start industrial scale treatment of water, for which we will issue an expression of interest to an empanelled agency," Tripathi said.

While it takes at least 10 days for a report on a sample to come in, results from one underground reservoir in Sector 35 are in and the same meet the requisite TDS level, at about 100. Tripathi said only sporadic cases of high TDS levels or high acidity in water have been reported. "With this sampling, a clear picture will emerge and help fix problem areas," he said.

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